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St.Lucia's Mother Tongue

Creole

St Lucia is listed as having two languages, english, the official one and creole, the informal language spoken by many st lucians. Creole is easily picked up by the people especially during the summer months. This language came about because of the slavery background of the caribbean and their struggle to independence.The creole language originates from the predominance of the french on the african slaves. St Lucians are able to communicate with the people of Haiti, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique and France with no problems since creole originates from the french language. Creole is influenced by the african slaves who used their african languages mixed with the french of their masters to communicate. Many countries with french based creole are also able to understand each other, though there might be slight variations in the language.

Today, Creole has evolved into a written language with a dictionary and a set of grammatical rules. There are also some universities where creole is studied.Though, creole is still evolving in some countries the language has died out or is slowly dying out. The language was even banned in some countries because the british slave masters were unable to understand it and it was considered to be ' language of slaves ' and ' vulgar'. In most cases the older generations are the ones who still speak the languages fluently, especially in the rural areas. The area for where the most creole could be heard is on market day which is normally on saturday mornings.

However, some years ago St Lucia took action to restore its mother tongue and to give creole a new respectibility.The Folk Research Centre is responsible to see that restoration is continuously successful. Creole day is even celebrated on the island in october by everyone, where creole is encouraged to be spoken on that day and the traditions and food is prepared.This day is known as "Jounen Kweyol".Last year the creole version of the New Testament was published, which is now easier for those who are more comfortable worshipping in creole. The local radio stations have announcers who report strictly in creole.Politicians are also included in the creole restoration as they try to capture potential voters during their campaign.

Come join St Lucians, learn a whole new language. Come learn Creole.

 

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